Story by Adrian Brijbassi
[pullquote_right]SAVE ON YOUR STAY IN PEI
Say “Vacay.ca” when you book your visit to the Around the Sea House on PEI and you’ll save $100 on your weekly summer rental.[/pullquote_right]NORTH RUSTICO, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND — When you visit Canada’s Atlantic coast, you hope for, if not shell out dollars for, a prime view of the ocean. Dwayne Doucette had no such concerns when he booked his suite on Prince Edward Island‘s north shore last year.
Doucette, who was visiting from Nova Scotia, reserved his stay at Around the Sea, a fascinating rotating house that guarantees every guest an ocean view for several minutes an hour. The house was built by Steve and Stephanie Arnold, a Canadian couple who had lived in Australia for years and while Down Under discovered a house that spun. The Arnolds were intrigued by unique homes. In the spinning house, they also envisioned a business opportunity. No similar home had been built in North America and no other such home rents out suites to guests.
“It’s really different. You have to do a doubletake sometimes to remember which room is yours but it’s great to see a house of this caibre here on the east coast,” Doucette said.
The home is no gimmick. Steve Arnold toured me through the property and explained its structure.
It takes 45 minutes to rotate and then it turns back the other way to avoid tangling the electric cables that are tethered to the structure of the spinning apparatus. Two motors power the rotating house and it expends about 1,500 watts of electricity each day. The 3,000-square-foot Deltec house includes 30 tons of steel and its total weight is about 50 tons. As a bonus, the round and aerodynamic design reduces the impact of snow and wind on the house.
“The winds just go around it,” said Steve Arnold, who hopes to build more rotating homes in different cities in Canada.
Around the Sea spins at a slow enough speed that the only dizziness your head feels is in trying to understand the physics that makes it possible.
The house is the most innovative attraction in North Rustico, a splendid community of 600 people with another structure with a rotating feature: A lighthouse that dates to 1876. There’s also a kayaking operator that takes visitors out into the harbour named after the community for guided trips of between 90 minutes and three hours, and a beach lined with craggy rocks that presents terrific photographic opportunities.
About 30 kilometres north of Charlottetown, North Rustico is one of the many PEI communities worth dropping into for a day visit. With the Around the Sea house, you just may want to stay a while.
Visitors must book a minimum two-night stay, which starts at $125 per night, depending on the day of the week and season. Weekly rates begin at $800 and rise to $1,595 during peak season (June 21-August 30, 2014). In peak season, only weekly rentals are available. For visitors who just want to tour the house, the cost is $5 per person. The tours are available on Wednesdays at 4 pm and Sundays at 11 am.
MORE ABOUT THE ROTATING HOUSE ON PEI
Location: 130 Lantern Hill Drive, North Rustico, PE (see map below)
Reservations: Telephone 1-866-557-8383 (toll free); email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rates: Minimum two-night stays begin at $125 in off season and rise to $175 during shoulder season. In peak season (June 21-August 30, 2014) only weekly stays are available. ($1,595 per week). See full rates on the property’s website.
Vacay.ca Savings: Say “Vacay.ca” when you book your reservation for a weekly summer rental and you will receive $100 off your stay.